(¿Si recibes y difundes información, entonces espías para toda la humanidad?, se preguntó el famoso jurista, para quien todo el proceso representa un ataque a la libertad de expresión, que solo busca proteger los derechos de Estados Unidos.)
Assange appeared on Monday at the opening of the trial in which the district judge Vanessa Baraitser will decide if she accedes to the extradition petition filed by the US prosecutor’s office, which accuses him of conspiracy to commit espionage, hacking and other 16 charges, which in total they carry a sentence of 175 years in jail.
The founder of Wikileaks, who has been interned since last April in Belmarsh prison, next to the court, heard prosecutors’ arguments from the bench of the defendants, and was only allowed to intervene to say his name and age.
The plaintiff alleged that Assange is not required by the United States justice for divulging the secret files provided by former Army analyst Chelsea Manning, but for endangering the lives of the informants mentioned in the documents.
The US prosecutor James Lewis admitted, however, not having evidence that any of those people were damaged as a result of the leaks, something that for the current director of Wikileaks, Kristin Hrafnsson, is a demonstration that it is a political case to scour journalists.
Here it is not Assange who is on the bench of the accused, but journalism and freedom of the press, said Hrafnsson during one of the recesses of the hearing, which will run until next Friday, and then resume on May 18.
Dozens of people, including several members of the Yellow Vests movement arriving by bus from Paris, gathered on Monday outside the court to demand the release of the 48-year-old cyber activist.
The chants and shouts of support from the protesters were perfectly audible inside the courtroom, to the point that the judge asked ‘if something could not be done’ to silence them.
According to Hrafnsson, the defense will present, from tomorrow, strong evidence that demonstrates the innocence of the founder of Wikileaks.
Among the evidences would be the statement of a witness about an alleged pardon offered in 2017 by the president of the United States, Donald Trump, in exchange for Assange denying Russia’s participation in the leaking of the emails of the Democratic Party in 2016.